The NDP is the only major party to have presented a fiscal framework in this election. The Toronto Star said, “Mulcair deserves credit for costing out the NDP spending promises well before we go to the polls on Oct. 19.” (Toronto Star editorial, Sept 17, 2015).
Major NDP commitments announced so far include:
- Protecting and strengthening public health care by restoring federal funding, providing access to affordable prescription drugs and increased investments in mental health, palliative care, home care and long-term care for seniors.
- Introducing affordable and accessible childcare across Canada, with one million spaces at a cost to parents of no more than 15 dollars a day.
- Expanding Canada Pension Plan CPP/QPP benefits and increasing funding for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). Restoring the age of eligibility for OAS/GIS to 65.
- Targeted investments to create jobs, diversify and grow a sustainable economy.
- Significant increases in funding for public transit, municipal and other community public infrastructure and affordable housing.
- Reforming Employment Insurance with a significant expansion of benefits
Increasing the federal minimum wage to 15 dollars per hour.
The fiscal plans shows all these measures can be funded with a balanced budget by increasing corporate taxes by only two percentage points, ending fossil fuel subsidies, closing tax loopholes, and eliminating costly subsidies to public-private partnerships through the P3 Canada Fund.
CUPE members and other Canadian workers recognize that the NDP has a strong record on economic and fiscal issues and that its policies are best for working people. After all, Tommy Douglas brought in 17 balanced budgets in his years as Premier of Saskatchewan. It is possible to balance the budget and meet the needs of people.
And for good reason. Under NDP governments:
- Unemployment rates have been considerably lower.
- Real wage and salary growth for workers has been significantly stronger.
- Deficits, debt ratios and debt growth have also been lower.
- And despite all the alarmism in the business press, corporate profits have also grown faster under NDP governments.